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Arizona Lesbian Couple Nelda Majors, Karen Bailey Marry After 57 Years Together: VIDEO

Majors

When they met in their college dorm in Texas in 1957, Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey never dreamed of telling anyone they were gay — let alone getting married. 

In fact, Majors and Bailey didn't come out publicly until they'd been together for 50 years — when they were inadvertently outed by lesbian Houston City Councilwoman Sue Lovell during an inauguration ceremony. 

After almost 57 years together, Majors and Bailey finally celebrated their marriage at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix on Sunday.

Majors and Bailey, who have two daughters, spent most of their lives in Houston, but retired to Arizona.  

They were among the plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging Arizona's marriage bans, which were struck down in October. They also were among the first couples to receive marriage licenses

Majors and Bailey invited the public to the ceremony on Sunday, and hundreds showed up. 

From AZfamiliy.com

"They feel that 56 and a half years together is a long engagement, but today they now have 1,134 federal laws on their side to protect their relationship," the officiant said. … 

"Oh it's much more than what we envisioned," Bailey said. "I don't think we could have ever imagined the people that have helped us, the vendors that have helped us. Our wedding assistant was unbelievable and we could have never imagined that it would be as wonderful as it's been."

Watch the report, along with a 2012 video of the couple talking about their relationship, AFTER THE JUMP ... 

Continue reading "Arizona Lesbian Couple Nelda Majors, Karen Bailey Marry After 57 Years Together: VIDEO" »


Meet Cathi Herrod, Arizona's Leading Anti-gay, Pro-Discrimination Bigot: VIDEO

Heerrod

Earlier this month, NBC's Phoenix affiliate Channel 12 News had a "heart to heart" with one of Arizona's leading anti-LGBT culture warriors - Cathy Herrod, the president of the Center for Arizona Policy.

Herrod, who was the architect behind Arizona's proposed license-to-discriminate bill that made headlines earlier this year, spoke at length about her anti-gay, pro-discrimination policy positions - all while keeping a softspoken, almost "grandmotherly" demeanor....which somehow makes her even more of a creep than she already is.  

Listen to her spout b.s. about the "social science" on gay relationships:

The social science data shows that marriage between a man and a woman is still the best family unit for men, women and children. This is never aimed at any individual, but it's aimed at what's the best public policy. 

And why she thinks its a-okay for religious folks to turn away LGBT customers:

HerrodShould the photographer or the baker be able to have the freedom to practice their religious beliefs in their businesses and not be compelled by the government to participate, for example, in a same-sex wedding ceremony that goes against their conscious? This is people of faith and no faith and that's not trying to shove religion down someone's throad, its simply saying 'Let me live my life according to my faith'"

Watch the full interview, AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: autoplay)

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Arizona Wedding Planner Refuses to Do Business With Lesbian Couple - VIDEO

Crystal Allen and Kenyata White

A wedding planner in Phoenix, Arizona, has refused to do business with a same-sex couple planning to marry in December, reports AZ Central.

In February 2013, Phoenix, the sixth most populous city in the U.S., passed broad laws barring discrimination against LGBT residents.

Crystal Allen and Kenyata White had made contact with AffordableWeddingMinister.com, but Susan Latimer refused the business when she realized that the couple she was preparing to marry were two women.

In an email to the couple, Latimer wrote “we are very uncomfortable with same-sex marriage as it is directly against our beliefs. We would not be a very good fit."

Latimer’s website states:

“We really Love Jesus, God the Father and The Holy Spirit. We believe Jesus loves everyone and the concept he gave is ... Marriage is HOLY and right for one man and one woman.”

The website also claims that the company is “non-judgemental.” Susan Latimer

AZ Central goes on to recommend that the couple “don't play into the hands of those who are itching for a reason to bring back Senate Bill 1062, last year's debacle of a bill that attempted to legalize discrimination in the name of the Lord."

Attorney Brendan Mahoney, who co-wrote the city's LGBT anti-discrimination law, said that because Latimer is a licensed minister she can decide who she wants to work with.  Mahoney added that Allen and White would be best served to “go find a place that wants to marry you, that looks forward to marrying you, and have a happy wedding.”

Watch a report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Arizona Wedding Planner Refuses to Do Business With Lesbian Couple - VIDEO" »


Three Arizona Cities Receive Perfect Scores In Human Rights Campaign LGBT Civil Rights Index

A report from the Human Rights Campaign's annual Municipal Equality Index indicates that the Arizona cities of Phoenix, Tempe and Tucson received perfect scores of a 100 on a scale of 0-100 reports One Community. HRC's index scores 353 municipalities from all 50 states on how they treat their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents, specifically in regards to what cities promote inclusiveness and provide equal rights for LGBT residents and workers. The three cities also were among 23 others designated "All Stars," for excelling on matters of equality without relying on state law.

Picture 4In 2013 Tempe received a score of 72, however the city unanimously approved Proposition 475 this year that bans workplace discrimination against LGBT workers. Additionally the city also passed an ordinance earlier this year in February that bans LGBT discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations at restaurants and hotels, but includes exceptions for religious organizations and social clubs. The cities of Tucson, Phoenix and Flagstaff have similar ordinances in place as well.

However, some local Arizona politicians fear an uphill battle is looming after state Republicans, including new Gov. Doug Ducey, saw big wins in the recent election. Tempe councilman Kolby Granville, a major proponent of gay rights, expressed the state legislature may further stall LGBT civil rights protections.

Said Granville:

"When you look at the makeup of our state Legislature, particularly given this election last Tuesday, the politics are not there for state change as it relates to employment discrimination, as it relates to equal treatment and as it relates to health benefits,"

"If the cities can muster the votes they should move forward and let the state catch up."

Arizona's total score average is 68 out of a 100 points, which is above the national average of 59. the city of Peoria received the lowest score with a total of 33 points. With the legalization of gay marriage in Arizona, the overall score of the state should rise in the future should marriage remain unchallenged. The full report, along with a FAQ page on why certain cities are chosen for the survey, is available on the HRC website.


Phoenix Suns Players Pranked With Dinosaur On Halloween: VIDEO

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 7.20.44 PM

Of all the things you wouldn't want to come face-to-face with on Halloween, "dinosaur" is probably somewhere near the top of the list.

NBA team the Phoenix Suns got pranked by the BBC's Walking With Dinosaurs exhibition, an arena show that confronts attendees with life-like, life-sized dinosaurs.

Watch the team's reactions as a dino pops out from behind a curtain. Pictured above, probably the highlight of the vid, rookie Archie Goodwin proves himself "a live one" and good at thinking on his feet, throwing his water jug at the creature. There are plenty of more great reactions, though.

Check out the residual Halloween fun, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Phoenix Suns Players Pranked With Dinosaur On Halloween: VIDEO" »


Eric Holder Announces Federal Government Will Recognize Gay Marriages in Six More States

Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that the federal government will recognize same-sex married couples in six additional states: Alaska, Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Last week, Holder made a similar announcement regarding federal recognition of same-sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Colorado. 

Via press release:

The Attorney General’s announcement means couples married in these states will now qualify for a range of federal benefits, including those administered by the Social Security Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“With each new state where same-sex marriages are legally recognized, our nation moves closer to achieving of full equality for all Americans,” the Attorney General said. “We are acting as quickly as possible with agencies throughout the government to ensure that same-sex married couples in these states receive the fullest array of benefits allowable under federal law.”

In addition, the Attorney General also announced that the Department of Justice has determined it can legally recognize marriages performed in Indiana and Wisconsin this past June. These marriages were performed immediately after federal district courts ruled that those states’ bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, but subsequent developments created confusion about the status of those marriages. Based on the Attorney General’s announcement, however, those couples married during that period will now have their unions recognized by the federal government.


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